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The low desire, the base design,
That makes another's virtues less ; The revel of the treacherous wine,
And all occasions of excess ;
The longing for ignoble things ;
The strife for triumph more than truth ; The hardening of the heart, that brings
Irreverence for the dreams of youth ;
All thoughts of ill ; all evil deeds,
That have their root in thoughts of ill ; Whatever hinders or impedes
The action of the nobler will ;
All these must first be trampled down
Beneath our feet, if we would gain In the bright fields of fair renown
The right of eminent domain.
We have not wings, we cannot soar ;
But we have feet to scale and climb By slow degrees, by more and more, The cloudy summits of our time.
The mighty pyramids of stone
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs, When nearer seen, and better known,
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
The distant mountains, that uprear
Their solid bastions to the skies, Are crossed by pathways, that appear
As we to higher levels rise.
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes, We may discern—unseen before
A path to higher destinies.
Nor deem the irrevocable Past
As wholly wasted, wholly vain, If, rising on its wrecks, at last
To something nobler we attain.
THE PHANTOM SHIP.
In Mather's Magnalia Christi,
Of the old colonial time,
That is here set down in rhyme.
A ship sailed from New Haven,
And the keen and frosty airs, That filled her sails at parting,
Were heavy with good men's prayers.
“O Lord ! if it be thy pleasure” —
Thus prayed the old divine“ To bury our friends in the ocean,
Take them, for they are thine ! ”
But Master Lamberton muttered,
And under his breath said he, “ This ship is so crank and walty,
I fear our grave she will be !”
And the ships that came from England
When the winter months were gone, Brought no tidings of this vessel,
Nor of Master Lamberton.
This put the people to praying
That the Lord would let them hear What in his greater wisdom
He had done with friends so dear.
And at last their prayers were answered :
It was in the month of June, An hour before the sunset
Of a windy afternoon,
When, steadily steering landward,
A ship was seen below, And they knew it was Lamberton, Master,
Who sailed so long ago.
On she came, with a cloud of canvas,
Right against the wind that blew, Until the eye could distinguish
The faces of the crew.
Then fell her straining topmasts,
Hanging tangled in the shrouds ; And her sails were loosened and lifted,
And blown away like clouds.
And the masts, with all their rigging,
Fell slowly, one by one;
As a sea-mist in the sun!
And the people who saw this marvel
Each said unto his friend, That this was the mould of their vessel,
And thus her tragic end.
And the pastor of the village
Gave thanks to God in prayer, That, to quiet their troubled spirits,
He had sent this Ship of Air.